Jeremiah 9-10

Jeremiah 9-10

Chapter 9: Sinful people will be punished

Jeremiah says: “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” (Jeremiah 9:1) The people will be scattered among the heathen, and given wormwood and gall for sustenance. Let not the wise or the mighty glory in their powers. Let he who glories glory in the Lord. The circumcised will be punished alongside the uncircumcised – Israel is uncircumcised in its heart.

The sinful people of Jeremiah’s time and the modern world: “…they bend their tongues like their bow for lies; but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:3)

Chapter 10: Learn not thy heathen!

The house of Israel acts idolatrously, consulting the heavens, worshipping trees, making graven images. False gods have not made the heavens and the earth. The Lord both suffers and is also full of destructive anger.

 

Isaiah 31-32

Isaiah 31-32

Chapter 31: The Lord will defend his People

Woe to those who look to Egypt rather than the Lord. The Lord is mightier than the Egyptians. The Lord will defend Jerusalem. The children of Israel are invited to repent.

Chapter 32: The Messiah – The Restoration

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. People will see, hear and understand. “The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge…” (Isaiah 32:4) The foolish man will be exposed as foolish. Women at ease are called upon to repent. The Spirit will be poured out upon a humbled people, who will enjoy peace and security.

Psalms 144-145

Psalms 144-145

Chapter 144: Happy are the People of God

A Psalm of David

                David speaks of how the happiest people are those “…whose God is the Lord.” (Psalms 144:15) The world today is filled with unhappiness and the reason is because people have turned away from the Lord. These people who denounce the Lord and His gospel are the same people complaining about how evil the world is.

Chapter 145: His Kingdom is Everlasting

David’s Psalm of Praise

                The Lord is good to all. His kingdom and His love are eternal. David tells the Lord; “I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.” (Psalms 145:5-6)

These two verses remind me of how the world will say you can’t have God in schools, or to take God out of the government… then when school shootings happen or anything similar people ask ‘why can God do such a thing?’ Well God gave us all free will, and with that comes the ability to choose to harm another. The Lord is being pushed out of our lives, and then people ask ‘where is God?’ Well He is THERE, but the people DON’T WANT HIM. It is a very sad world we live in.

 

Psalms 59-60

Psalms 59-60

Chapter 59: Delivered from Enemies

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Mitcham of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

                David in his despair asks God to deliver him from his enemies. Go will rule forever.

Chapter 60: Ephraim… The Head of His People

To the chief Musician upon Sushaneduth, Mitcham of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-naharim and with Aram-zobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.

                David pleads with the Lord and tells him that He has scattered Israel. The Lord places Ehpraim over the head and makes Judah his law-giver.

Psalms 27-28

Psalms 27-28

Chapter 27: Be of Good Courage

A Psalm of David.

                “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalms 27:1)

                “…though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” (Psalms 27:3)

                “…he shall set me upon his rock.” (Psalms 27:5)

                David explains that with the Lord we can have His light and salvation. With this light and salvation we have no reason to fear.

                “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalms 27:14) David reminds us that the even in the tough times, we need to be patience and wait on the Lord with courage.

Chapter 28: Save the People

A Psalm of David.

                David makes a simple plea with the Lord to grant his petitions, save his people and bless his inheritance.

 

Nehemiah 11-13

Nehemiah 11-13

Chapter 11: The People of Jerusalem 

The leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities. The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.

                These are the heads of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem:

The children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez; and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Col-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni. All the sons of Perez who dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight valiant men.

The sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah; and after him Gabbai and Sallai, nine hundred and twenty-eight. Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer, and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.

The priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, and Jachin; Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the leader of the house of God. Their brethren who did the work of the house were eight hundred and twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah, and his brethren, heads of the fathers’ houses, were two hundred and forty-two; and Amashai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer, and their brethren, mighty men of valor, were one hundred and twenty-eight. Their overseer was Zabdiel the son of one of the great men.

The Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni; Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the heads of the Levites, had the oversight of the business outside of the house of God; Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the leader who began the thanksgiving with prayer; Bakbukiah, the second among his brethren; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred and eighty-four. Moreover the gatekeepers, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren who kept the gates, were one hundred and seventy-two. And the rest of Israel, of the priests and Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance. But the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel. And Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim. Also the overseer of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha, of the sons of Asaph, the singers in charge of the service of the house of God. For it was the king’s command concerning them that a certain portion should be for the singers, a quota day by day. Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was the king’s deputy in all matters concerning the people.

                In the villages and fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt in:

 Kirjath Arba and its villages, Dibon and its villages, Jekabzeel and its villages; in Jeshua, Moladah, Beth Pelet, Hazar Shual, and Beersheba and its villages; in Ziklag and Meconah and its villages; in En Rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages; in Lachish and its fields; in Azekah and its villages. They dwelt from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom. Also the children of Benjamin from Geba dwelt in Michmash, Aija, and Bethel, and their villages; in Anathoth, Nob, and Ananiah; in Hazor, Ramah, and Gittaim; in Hadid, Zeboim, and Neballat; in Lod, Ono, and the Valley of Craftsmen. Some of the Judean divisions of Levites were in Benjamin.

Chapter 12: Priests and Levites

These are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah. These were the heads of the priests and their brethren in the days of Jeshua. Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who led the thanksgiving psalms, he and his brethren. Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, stood across from them in their duties. Jeshua begot Joiakim, Joiakim begot Eliashib, Eliashib begot Joiada, Joiada begot Jonathan, and Jonathan begot Jaddua.

                In the days of Joiakim, the priests, the heads of the fathers’ houses were: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; of Melichu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; of Abijah, Zichri; the son of Minjamin; of Moadiah, Piltai; of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; and of Jedaiah, Nethanel.

During the reign of Darius the Persian, a record was also kept of the Levites and priests who had been heads of their fathers’ houses in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua. The sons of Levi, the heads of the fathers’ houses until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib, were written in the book of the chronicles. And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers across from them, to praise and give thanks, group alternating with group, according to the command of David the man of God. Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers keeping the watch at the storerooms of the gates. These lived in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps. And the sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, from the villages of the Netophathites, from the house of Gilgal, and from the fields of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem.

The priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.

                So Nehemiah brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. One went to the right hand on the wall toward the Refuse Gate. After them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, and some of the priests’ sons with trumpets; Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, and his brethren, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. Ezra the scribe went before them. By the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went up the stairs of the City of David, on the stairway of the wall, beyond the house of David, as far as the Water Gate eastward. The other thanksgiving choir went the opposite way, and I was behind them with half of the people on the wall, going past the Tower of the Ovens as far as the Broad Wall, and above the Gate of Ephraim, above the Old Gate, above the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate; and they stopped by the Gate of the Prison. So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director. Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

                At the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered. Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son. For in the days of David and Asaph of old there werechiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.

Chapter 13: Nehemiah Corrects Apostasy

                On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, God turned the curse into a blessing.

                After they had heard the Law, they separated the entire mixed multitude from Israel.

                Now before this, Eliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of God, was allied with Tobiah, and he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings; the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests. In the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon Nehemiah had returned to the king. Then after certain days he obtained leave from the king, and came to Jerusalem and discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. And it grieved him bitterly; therefore he threw all the household goods of Tobiah out of the room. Then he commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

Nehemiah also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given to them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. So Nehemiah contended with the rulers, and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And he gathered them together and set them in their place. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. And he appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.

                Nehemiah tells about what he saw;

“In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:15-18)

This should tell us, even today in modern times of the importance of the Sabbath day and to keep it holy.

At the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, Nehemiah commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then he posted some of his servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.

The merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. Then he warned them and then warned them; that if they continued to wait outside the walls he would “put his hands on them”. He commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.

In those days Nehemiah also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people. So he contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin. Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?” Andone of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.

 

Ezra 7-8

Ezra 7-8

Chapter 7: Artaxerxes Beautifies the Temple

In the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra…

Who was the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest;

…Ezra came up from Babylon; he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king granted him his entire request, according to the hand of the Lord his God.

Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of His statutes to Israel: “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, (Ezra 7:12-21)

Now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of your God. Also the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. And whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, pay for it from the king’s treasury. And I, even I, Artaxerxes the king, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the region beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, may require of you, let it be done diligently, up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribed limit.

Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it diligently be done for the house of the God of heaven. For why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?

Also we inform you that it shall not be lawful to impose tax, tribute, or custom on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God. And you, Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are in the region beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach those who do not know them. Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it is death, or banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.

Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.

Chapter 8: Ezra and the People Fast and Pray for Guidance

These are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with Ezra from Babylon, in the reign of King Artaxerxes…

…of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush; of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and registered with him wereone hundred and fifty males; of the sons of Pahath-Moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males; of the sons of Shechaniah, Ben-Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males; of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males; of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males; of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him eighty males; of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males; of the sons of Shelomith, Ben-Josiphiah, and with him one hundred and sixty males; of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males; of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him one hundred and ten males; of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these; Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males; also of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

He gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and they camped there three days. And Ezra looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there.

Ezra sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leaders; also for Joiarib and Elnathan, men of understanding. And he gave them a command, Iddo the chief man at the place Casiphia, and he told them what they should say to Iddo and his brethren the Nethinim at the place Casiphia; that they should bring the servants for the house of our God. Then, by the good hand of our God upon them, they brought them  a man of understanding…

…of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, with his sons and brothers, eighteen men; and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty men; also of the Nethinim, whom David and the leaders had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim. All of them were designated by name.

Ezra proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that they might humble themselves before God, to seek from Him the right way for them and their little ones and all their possessions. For he was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help them against the enemy on the road, because they had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So they fasted and entreated their  God for this, and He answered their prayer.

He separated twelve of the leaders of the priests; Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them; and weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the articles, the offering for the house of our God which the king and his counselors and his princes, and all Israel who were present, had offered. He weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, silver articles weighing one hundred talents, one hundred talents of gold, twenty gold basins worth a thousand drachmas, and two vessels of fine polished bronze, precious as gold. And he said to them, “You are holy to the Lord; the articles are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers. Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the leaders of the priests and the Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel in Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord.” So the priests and the Levites received the silver and the gold and the articles by weight, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

They departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of their God was upon them, and He delivered them from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road. So they came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the articles were weighed in the house of their God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui, with the number and weight of everything. All the weight was written down at that time.

And they delivered the king’s orders to the king’s satraps and the governors in the region beyond the River. So they gave support to the people and the house of God.

 

2 Chronicles 35-36

2 Chronicles 35-36

Chapter 35: Josiah is slain

                Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord. Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord; “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel. And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites. So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses”. (2 Chronicles 35:3-6)

Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king’s possessions. And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle.

The service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command. And they slaughtered the Passover offerings; and the priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. Then they removed the burnt offerings that they might give them to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the cattle. Also they roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance; but the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly among all the lay people. Then afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in offering burnt offerings and fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron.

                And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer. Also the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them. So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.

And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations.

The rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what were written in the Law of the Lord, and his deeds from first to last, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Another Lost book of the Bible.

Chapter 36: The People Reject the Prophets

                Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. Now the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. More LOST books of the Bible!

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.

                Here we find something very interesting, Jehoiachin was only 8 years old when he did “evil in the sight of the Lord”, and therefore he was capable of committing these sins at the age of 8. Now in many churches and religions the age for baptism is questioned. After all Jesus was baptized when he was about 30 years old. In the Catholic Church, they baptize you when you are born. Which we have learned through the Book of Mormon is an evil practice:

“And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell. Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell. For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism”. (Moroni 8:11-14)

Other religions and churches believe that you should be baptized later in life, but what age would God have us baptized at? The Doctrine and Covenants, a modern scripture revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in November of 1831 clearly lays out when baptism should be performed.

“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25 & 27)

                So we see that the Bible clearly states that at the age of 8, Jehoiachin could commit sin, therefore it is important to have children be baptized from the age of 8, and on.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.

And the Lord God sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people. The Lord’s prophets are almost always rejected by the people. Including his modern day prophets, like Joseph Smith and his current prophet in His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.

Those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!

 

1 Chronicles 15-16

1 Chronicles 15-16

Chapter 15: David Prepares the Ark of the Lord

David build himself houses in the City of David and prepares a place for the Ark in the city of David and pitches a tent for it. David tells everyone that NO ONE should carry the ark, except the Levites.

David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it, and assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:

The sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren, 120.

The sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren, 220.

The  sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren, 130.

The sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren, 200.

The sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren.

The sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren, 212.

David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, and said unto them, “…Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.” (1 Chronicles 15:12)

So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. So the children of the Levites took the ark of God upon their shoulders. David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint some men to be the singers with instruments, sounding and by lifting up the voice with joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters.

So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass; And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth; And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel. And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.

And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.

And Shebaniah, Jehoshaphat, Nethaneel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests,blew on  trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark. So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.

David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and therefore Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. As the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul was looking out the window and saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

Chapter 16: People Sacrifice and Praise the Lord

Israel brings the ark of God, and set it in the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. David also blessed the people in the name of the Lord, and he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.

Then on that day David delivered a psalm of thanks to the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.  Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel forever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 16:8-36)

So David left the ark of the covenant of the Lord Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required: And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

Numbers 25-26

Numbers 25-26

Chapter 25: Worshiping False Gods

While Israel was camped in a place called Shittim, a group of Israelites (about 24,000 of them), begin committing whoredoms with the daughters of Moab. They also started to worship false gods and bowed down to them. The Lord gets very angry with this and commands Moses to slay all of the people who worshiped these false gods in Baal-peor (the idol at peor, a mountain in Moab).

God is very specific when he speaks to Moses, he tells him to slay all the people and hang their heads facing the sun. This would kindle the fire of anger that was building from all the sinning.

Meanwhile the congregation of Israel is gathered at the opening of the Tabernacle, when a man brings a Midianitish woman (in plain view of everyone) to his tent. The congregation is “weeping” at the Tabernacle over the sins of the people, and here comes a man sinning in front of them. So, Phinehas (the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest) runs into the tent and drives a spear through both of them, including an unborn child so that the plague will not continue in Israel.

The Lord is pleased by what Phinehas had done and makes a covenant with him, that his priesthood should be an everlasting one throughout all the generations of his children.

The Lord then commands Israel to treat Moab as an enemy, because by deceiving and seducing the Israelites they too had treated them as enemies.

Chapter 26: The People in Moab

After the plague is over, Moses and Eleazar are commanded to take all the men (20 years and older) and are able to go to war and number them.

  • Reuben: 43,730
  • Simeon: 22,200
  • Gad: 40,500
  • Judah: 76,500
  • Issachar: 64,300
  • Zebulun: 60,500
  • Joseph:
    • Manasseh: 52,700
    • Ephraim: 32,500
    • Benjamin: 45,600
    • Dan: 64,400
    • Asher: 53,400
    • Naphtali: 45,400

This is a total of 610,730, which is very similar number to that of the first census done in Numbers 1: 4-51.

The Levites are not included in this census, they are numbered separately at 23,000 Levites. The reason for this, is that the Levites do not receive the same inheritance.

The Lord then speaks to Moses and explains a little about the inheritance the Israelites will receive:

“Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.” (Numbers 26:53-56)